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Mets' Murphy drops throw, allows tiebreaking run to score in 2-1 loss to D-backs in DH opener

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NEW YORK, N.Y. - The Mets are going to need more from Lucas Duda and Chris Young if their lineup is going to have any success.

Duda and Young each stranded six baserunners and combined to hit into three of Arizona's season high-matching five double plays Sunday as New York dropped the opener of a single-admission doubleheader 2-1 to the Diamondbacks.

Second baseman Daniel Murphy dropped a potential forceout in the ninth inning, allowing the tiebreaking run to score, but Duda could've put the Mets ahead in the eight. Instead he grounded into a 3-2-3 inning-ending double play against Evan Marshall (2-0).

"He's just not getting the ball set," Mets manager Terry Collins said of Duda, who also stranded seven in Saturday's loss. "Those flyballs you are seeing, he's getting under the ball a little bit. This is a big park. You've got to get the ball squared up here."

Given the starting job at first base in April before the Mets traded Ike Davis to Pittsburgh, Duda went 0 for 4 and his average fell to .230.

Bronson Arroyo induced four double plays in matching Mets rookie Rafael Montero for six innings.

The Diamondbacks bats came through in the ninth after doing little following Chris Owings' homer in the first. A.J. Pollock doubled leading off against closer Jenrry Mejia (4-1) and pinch-hitter Ender Inciarte sacrificed him to third. Mejia struck out pinch-hitter Martin Prado before intentionally walking Gerardo Parra.

Owings then hit a grounder that third baseman David Wright ranged far to his left to field. Murphy appeared to stretch on the wrong angle for the throw at second base and was off-balance coming back for ball. Pollock scored when Murphy dropped it.

"Kind of a bizarre game that worked out in our favour," Arroyo said during the brief break between games.

Addison Reed gave up two one-out singles before striking out Juan Lagares. Inciarte, who entered left field in the ninth, made a nice running catch on Murphy's sinking liner to end it. Reed earned his 14th save in the opener of a twin-bill made necessary when Friday night's game was washed out in the fourth inning.

Both managers chose not to mess with their rotations for the second game. The Mets will take Daisuke Matsuzaka out of the bullpen for a start in the finale and Arizona called up right-hander Zeke Spruill from Triple-A Reno as their 26th man to take the mound as the Diamondbacks go for a sweep of the twinbill and three-game series.

Montero and Arroyo impressed with differing styles. The 23-year-old Montero used a 91-92 mph fastball to strikeout 10 in his third big league start, giving fans a taste of the polished pitcher the Mets are hoping he could be. The high-kicking, slow-pitching Arroyo induced four double plays — including inning-ending turns in the second, third and fourth innings to keep the game tied.

Young, the former Diamondbacks outfielder, grounded into two of the double plays. The struggling Mets newcomer left six on in his three at-bats.

Duda had the double play that hurt the most, though. With first and third, he hit a sharp grounder to first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, who threw home. Catcher Miguel Montero made a perfect relay back to Goldschmidt at first base. Duda was lustily booed.

In fact, the large crowd on banner day at Citi Field was in a surly mood, booing Young and Duda for the failings at the plate, howling at Jose Valverde when he walked the bases loaded in the eighth and really let former Mets lefty Oliver Perez have when he pitched a scoreless seventh.

The Mets were 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position against Arroyo, their lone hit by Wright in the first. He followed singles to left by Lagares and Murphy with an RBI hit to a similar spot.

That tied the score at 1-all. Owings homered to left field on the first pitch he saw from Montero.

Arroyo allowed six hits and a run. He struck out one, walked one and hit two. Rafael Montero gave up just two hits and walked three.

"Of course, this is my best, and there is better to come, thank God," Montero said through a translator.

NOTES: Wright has four straight multihit games. ... Gibson said new Diamondbacks chief baseball officer Tony La Russa is busy assessing the minor league system but they stay in contact with text messages. ... Mets C Travis d'Arnaud (concussion) is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Sunday at Binghamton. ... Mets OF Eric Young Jr. turned 29 Sunday. ... Up Monday: The Mets host the Pittsburgh Pirates in Ike Davis' return to Citi Field. Arizona opens a three-game set against the Padres at Chase Field.

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